Video: Arsenal to sign the world’s most versatile player?

first_imgArsenal boss Arsene Wenger is seeking reinforcements this January as he looks to get his side back into the top.Gabriel Paulista has already all-but joined the Gunners and now, it is being reported by the Daily Star, they could turn their attentions to Borussia Dortmund man Kevin Grosskreutz.The 26-year-old has spent the last five and a half seasons at the Westfalenstadion and during that time has occupied every position on the pitch at one time or another – including a spell in goal after a Roman Weidenfeller red card!And, given Arsenal’s injury problems, Wenger will be keen to have someone with Grosskreutz’s adaptability in his squad.A £3.7million bid has reportedly been lodged with the Bundesliga side and you can see his amazing versatility above.But if you’d prefer to see the player’s best goals, check out the clip below…last_img read more

Chelsea linked with Stones as Luis is tipped to complete £20m move

first_imgTottenham have leapfrogged Chelsea and Arsenal in a race to sign Everton defender John Stones, the Daily Express say.It is claimed that the Blues want Stones but that Spurs have targeted him as a potential replacement for Jan Vertonghen, who has been linked with a move to Barcelona.The Express also say Gary Cahill will be offered a new four-year contract by Chelsea, while the Daily Mail reports that Filipe Luis is close to completing a £20m move to Stamford Bridge from Atletico Madrid.The Mail also say Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is interested in signing Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane.Cahill has been tipped to sign a new deal.There continues to be speculation that Real Madrid’s Germany midfielder Sami Khedira could join Chelsea rather than Arsenal.The north London club are ready to end their interest in Khedira, 27, because of his wage demands, according to the Daily Mirror.And the Daily Telegraph reports that Petr Cech has returned to full training three weeks ahead of schedule following his shoulder problem.The Chelsea goalkeeper, who is reportedly wanted by Paris St-Germain, was injured in the Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid and missed the final matches of last season.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Paleoanthropologist Exposes Shoddiness of “Early Man” Research

first_imgMany paleoanthropologists are bent on self-promotion, and the field lacks ability to regulate itself, a veteran researcher complains.Tim White of UC Berkeley took the occasion of the Leakey team’s promotion of a new juvenile hominid jaw to point out troubles in the field.  Writing in Current Biology with palpable sarcasm, he made comments that should cause concern among those trusting proclamations about human evolution made by researchers and their press agents.  Here are some samples:Human bones are common in cemeteries, but remains of our more ancient ancestors and relatives are fewer, further between and notoriously difficult to recover. This is particularly true for fossils that are millions of years old. Biomolecules are geologically short-lived and thus unavailable for parsing truly ancient species lineages.Disagreements are common, and the configuration of the hominid twig on the tree of life remains a matter of particular contention….Kenyan fossils announced in Nature have historically figured prominently in paleoanthropology. In their latest paper of this genre, Leakey et al. introduce the fossilized partial maxilla of an ancient juvenile….  This new paper’s conclusions are said to confirm the authors’ earlier published conclusions….The authors take an unusual approach to constructing, in 3-D digital space, what they think the dental arcade of the new fossil maxilla should have looked like. They accomplish this feat by filling the fossil’s empty and broken tooth sockets with digital models of modern human teeth. Why modern human teeth were better suited than available contemporary fossil teeth is left unexplained.The unilineal depiction of human evolution popularized by the familiar iconography of an evolutionary ‘march to modern man’ has been proven wrong for more than 60 years. However, the cartoon continues to provide a popular straw man for scientists, writers and editors alike. Do most of these species labels reflect real, biologically distinct lineages? Or have the alleged species proliferated merely as a result of taxonomic exuberance misapplied to within-species variation (idiosyncratic, geographic, sexual, and/or ontogenetic)? The sequence of prominent paleoanthropological publications across the last decades reveals a pattern of diversity promotion.Paleoanthropology’s ecosystem of publishing, access, fundraising, career advancement, media promotion and celebrity seems squarely aligned against the field’s ability to self regulate, a condition exacerbated by the limited fossil resources available. There is ample and obvious motivation for authors to generate ‘new’ species names in this environment. Readers should, therefore, beware of attendant species diversity claims. Illegitimate names have become part and parcel of the symbiosis itself. Furthermore, ‘chronospecies’ are merely artificial segments of evolving species lineages, rather than truly separate species. Such assertions of biological species diversity via taxonomic hyperbole are questionable representations of the real paleobiology of our ancestors and their few close, now extinct biological relatives. Despite the branch waving, our family tree still resembles a saguaro cactus more than a creosote bush.So is there a credible story growing out of research into human origins in spite of the personality conflicts and pet theories?  White ended by complaining that funding agencies are strangling long-term field research in favor of expensive lab equipment.  “More fossils will be needed” to resolve the current conflicts, he complained.  “Until a better balance is achieved — and better biological understanding applied — the origins of our genus will remain shrouded by a paucity of paleobiological data.”It’s so nice when one of their own writes the commentary for us.  We especially enjoyed #5 and #8.  Thank you, Tim White.  Now get a real job dealing with something you can know. (Visited 37 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Going after maintenance dodgers

first_img4 May 2006A Department of Justice initiative – dubbed Operation Isondlo – to improve South Africa’s maintenance system and bring maintenance defaulters to book is gaining momentum.Interventions so far include clamping down on maintenance defaulters, appointing maintenance investigators, paying out R80-million in unclaimed maintenance money, and educating the public on their rights regarding child support.On Wednesday, the department handed over its biggest maintenance payout yet – R95 400 – to a single beneficiary.The money, handed over to Ms Jane Johnson at the Union Buildings by Justice Minister Bridgette Mabandla, was obtained through an attachment order after a respondent failed to pay maintenance for five years.In February Ms Johnson received information that her former husband, with whom she has a child, had resigned from his job and was about to receive his benefits.He had been defaulting since 2001, the year they divorced.She approached maintenance investigating officer Mbulawa Skosana, who investigated and found that the money had already been deposited into the respondent’s bank account.When Skosana approached the bank to negotiate for the money to be frozen, it emerged that some of the money was invested offshore.An urgent court order was subsequently granted for the nullification of the transaction and an attachment order was put into operation, resulting in the bank issuing a cheque in March.Handing the cheque to Ms Johnson, Mabandla emphasised that Operation Isondlo and child maintenance were not only about money but also about the well-being of the child, stable family life, ubuntu, and the rule of law.“With stable communities where there is less crime,” Mabandla said, adding that the department would like to work with non-governmental and community organisations, priests, elderly people and traditional leaders “to strengthen this campaign for children’s rights.”The minister said that despite its successes, the programme faced a number of challenges, the biggest of which was the huge case backlog. She said her department was looking at ways of addressing this, including hiring more investigators.Receiving the money, Ms Johnson said that she would use some of it to buy winter clothing for her child, and “invest some of the money for education purposes.”Skosana expressed his excitement at being part of the achievement.“I am happy and honoured that I made a contribution to the effort,” he told BuaNews. “It is my personal mission to ensure that every child is being taken care of.”He added that he would work to ensure that by 2014 government social grants only went to “genuine recipients”.“You sometimes find people collecting social grants and maintenance money at the same time, and those who deserve do not receive these grants,” Skosana said.Source: BuaNews Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Zuma calls for nuclear terror vigilance

first_img27 March 2012South African President Jacob Zuma, speaking at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea on Monday, stressed the importance of remaining alert to the risks posed by nuclear terrorism.“We should remain vigilant of the continued risks posed by nuclear terrorism, the illicit nuclear network and criminal acts, and the use of nuclear or other radioactive material for malicious acts,” Zuma said during a Leaders’ Working Dinner at the summit.“We can, through a cooperative approach in the relevant multilateral organisations, effectively deal with these risks.”‘Elimination ultimately the only prevention’Zuma noted that the leaders were meeting at the summit with the common aim of achieving a world free of weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons.“In our desire to create a forum to raise awareness on nuclear security, we cannot ignore the reality that only the verifiable and irreversible elimination of nuclear weapons will ultimately prevent the use of such weapons.”Zuma also noted the need to fully implement the relevant international legally binding obligations on nuclear security and nuclear safety.Such an approach had proved invaluable when South Africa hosted the 2010 Fifa World Cup, Zuma said, thanking the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the US government for their assistance with nuclear security measures at the different World Cup venues.Highly enriched uranium ‘for peaceful uses only’On the issue of highly enriched uranium (HEU), Zuma acknowledged that HEU and separated plutonium required special precautions, adding that South Africa had taken such precautions.“Our international legally binding obligations on nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation allow for the enrichment of uranium for peaceful purposes only, irrespective of the enrichment level,” Zuma said. “In this connection, South Africa has adopted a policy on the beneficiation of our mineral resources, including uranium.”South Africa believed the focus on minimising the use of HEU to peaceful applications – which represented a tiny fraction of the HEU used for military purposes – should come to fruition in the long-outstanding negotiations on a fissile material treaty, Zuma added.These negotiations should commence in the Conference on Disarmament without further delay.“Going forward, we believe that the best approach would be to address the issues of nuclear safety and nuclear security in a coherent manner,” Zuma said. “Therefore, our future emphasis should be on supporting the work on nuclear safety and security undertaken by existing multilateral organizations such as the IAEA.”Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Hidden Behind Egypt’s Uprising, Sudan Protests

first_imgOnce the success of the protests in Tunisia reminded the world that governments can be changed by a wide spectrum of people and not a political cadre or religious group or opposition politician but the people themselves, those people went to town prodding and testing for weakness. The people of Algeria, Libya, even Yemen were seen on the streets. But Sudan seems to be hidden behind the Egyptian flare up. Now, crisis mapping shows how deep and widespread the discontent is in that country. Ushahidi‘s Patrick Meier was contacted by activists in Sudan and, at their request, has put a team of digital activists together to develop a crisis map using Ushahidi’s hosted Crowdmap software. It launched on the 28th, ahead of the big protest that took place yesterday. The map, “Jan 30 Sudan,” is centered on Sudan’s capital of Khartoum where the overwhelming majority of the 75 recorded incidents have happened. Among them are police beating peaceful demonstrators, the demonstrations themselves, police using gas bombs against med students and Sudanese security forces harassing foreign reporters. There has even been at least one demonstrator, perhaps as many as three, killed. Most reports are being sent in by email and Skype, some by SMS. Some traditional press have been covering the events in Sudan, including The Christian Science Monitor, Agence France-Presse and the BBC, but the signal-to-noise ration has been deafening so far. In part, the possible imminent succession of the South from the North of the country, and its long status as a failed state, may make it murkier and more difficult to understand. However, the existence of the #jan30 map and the work to keep it current may help outside witnesses visualize the reality of the protests there.Sudan map via Wikipedia Commons curt hopkins Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Tags:#Government#international#Location#NYT#politics#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

After Effects Tutorial: 3D Mosaic Effect

first_imgFull Video Tutorial Transcript[color-box color=”gray”]EVAN ABRAMS: In this After Effects tutorial from Premiumbeat.com we’re going to create a 3D mosaic break-apart and come together of a logo, or really anything. It’s going to be using the card dance plug-in and a couple of other things to shore it up, so let’s get into it. So inside of After Effects the first thing we’re going to do is create a new composition, and in this case we’re going to use the HDTV 1080 24 frames per second preset, and we’ll set the duration to 30 seconds even though we won’t use all of it.Now, the first thing we need to do is create a place holder for the logos or the elements that you’re going to break apart using the mosaic effect. For this case we’ll just make a new text layer and we’ll just type in logo. And we’re going to use sort of a gold-brown color, and we’ll shrink it down so that it fits more or less towards the center and we can use the align panel to put it right in the middle.Now on the logo we might dress this up with a drop shadow, just to give it a bit more visual interest. So we’ll give it a white drop shadow, set it’s opacity to 100, put up the distance above 15, and then we’ll also go into the character palette here and we’ll add a stroke to it. So this will serve as the logo for the piece, and what we’ll do is we will pre-compose this so, control-shift-C, and make sure you have move all attributes to new composition. We will call this the logo comp, and all of the things that we do are going to happen to this logo comp. If you need to change anything you just go inside and change it. So, comp 1 out here should be renamed final export, because this is where things will be exported from.Now the next layer we have to make is a control layer, so we’re going to make a new solid, and we’ll make it the comp size and we can set it as white or black, or it doesn’t really matter because we’re going to cover it up using fractal noise. Now fractal noise will generate this nice sort of cloud pattern, and you can change the fractal type and the noise type and all sorts of things. But for our purposes what we’re really interested in increasing the contrast a little bit, perhaps to 150, and you can tweak the brightness if need be. But I think we’ll leave it pretty much as is. We just want to make sure you can see pure black spots and pure white spots, and there is considerable amount of change going on throughout; because this layer is going to control what happens in the next part.The first thing to do is pre-compose this, so control-shift-C again, or Cmd-shift-C, and call this the control comp. And we would like to move our attributes into the new composition so the fractal noise we created stays on that solid and goes into the composition; and hit OK. And you can drag this below the logo comp, or just poke its eye out, because we don’t need to look at it. Now on the logo comp we are going to use something called the card dance, and the card dance basically will break up this layer into a bunch of small cards and then it will animate them using another layer. So we have to say, gradient layer 1 is now the control comp. That means it will be using that gradient and that fractal noise that we put on there, and then multiplying the values underneath the cards and using that to generate position and rotation changes in those cards.So, the first thing we want to do is change the rows and columns of these cards. This will divide the layer up into various rows and columns in order to make the cards. So we would like 90 rows and 160 columns; so we’re dividing its height here into 90 pieces and we’re dividing the width into 160. Since this is a 16 x 9 composition that’s divide it up into squares. Now, when we go down here to the Z position and we say, use the source’s intensity, you can see that it starts to fragment apart into a bunch of little squares. And as you increase the multiplier they start to go all over the place. So let’s set the multiplier at 25 and we’ll set a key frame here at the beginning for it to be at 25, and we’ll most ahead 30 frames holding down shift and page down. And then we’ll set the multiplier down to zero. So the layer kind of collects itself together out of all of these pieces.And we can also put in similar things for the X and Y position as well. So we’ll go back to the beginning here and we’ll set key frame for those. So we’ll set the multiplier here for the X position to be at 25 as well; and we will set the multiplier for the Y position to be at 25 as well. And then we’ll set the source to be intensity one for both. And you can see it spreads them out quite nicely. And you’ll probably need to refine this just to make it a little bit more cohesive so that it isn’t going all over the place.These don’t have to be as extreme, because we are going to also add movement using a camera. So let’s just call up those key frames by hitting U, and then advancing to where they should all come together and making sure they’re all at zero. And we can see how that all comes together. We’re going to want to easy-ease them all into their end state just so it doesn’t happen so abruptly. And now we’re going to create a new camera to add more motion. And we’re going to use the 24 mil. preset, hit OK, and go into the logo comp here. And we’re going to have to tell it to use the camera that is in the comp. So it has built-in camera controls, but we would like to use the composition camera to move things around.So what we’re going to do is we’re going to take this camera and we’re going to transform its position. So, we know its final position should be here, so set a key frame. And before we animate it we want to go layer transform R orient and remove its auto orientation towards this point of interest. It causes too much confusion when you start moving the position, but it’s still locked and staring at a fixed point that doesn’t actually move as well.So now move back to the beginning and we’ll just push the camera forward through this mass of particles until it reaches a point where there are no participles, or there are so few that it doesn’t really matter. And then we’ll also easy-ease that last key frame so that it’s pulling out as it’s coming together; so that looks pretty good. And we’d also like to add a rotation, so put a key frame for the Z rotation, or zed rotation, go back to the beginning and we will just induce perhaps 180 or 90 rotation there so it spins as it comes out, and again, easy-easing that last key frame.So we have the logo coming out and coming together quite nicely. In order to add a motion blur to this though we have to force it to have motion blur. So, type in force motion blur on the effects, and then drag that out onto the composition. And what this does is it over rides any native motion blurs because this effect actually can’t have normal motion blur applied to it. In fact, it doesn’t believe the layer is moving at all, and if you tried to apply motion blur to it it doesn’t believe there’s any vectors for it to apply.So that brings the logo together. We’re going to advance a few frames, as long as you want to have it on. And now to remove the logo we’re going to simply key frame the position, the rotation, and those multipliers again, and move ahead only 10 frames. And now we’re going to set all of these up to be 25 so it’s fragmenting apart. And we are going to go in at -180 on the Z rotation, and we’re going to push back in using the camera’s position. So at around 50 it’s all gone; that’s good. So we can see when it gets ready to break itself apart it’ll look kind of like everything’s flying at the camera; in some kind of vortex.So that’s working out for me. What we’ll do now is we’ll take these inside key frames here of the camera’s movement and we’ll just turn them into auto beziers, which means that these key frames here in the middle are going to be the result of a tween between the two on the edge, just so it has continuous motion and isn’t so boring.Now, the last thing to do is to just take these layers and style them a little bit. So we’ll make a new solid that will serve as the background;set it to whatever color of gray you think is important. But we’re going to use a ramp on that, and what I like to do is use a radial ramp, move the inside to be close to the middle, and move the outside to be beyond the corner; set the end color to be something dark, like 5, and set the inside color to be something a little bit lighter, like 25.Now we can apply a drop shadow to this layer here, and we will set it to be at a distance of 25 and a softness of 25. And we’ll just put the motion blur below that, and you might have to amp up opacity, so you can see it a little better; but there it is. And now what we’ll also be doing is we’ll be adding an alpha bevel, so bevel alpha; again, put that above the drop shadow and set it to a value of 4.Now what this does is it appears that the shadow is being cast on the background, so instead of it looking like we’re pushing a camera through something it’s more like these are coming from behind the camera or materializing in some way. So that shadow just helps to ground the image. And that’s about it. You can do this for example on this text placeholder, and then if someone comes around with a logo they would prefer you to use you can just go in and place it in the comp.Now what you can do is also change it, and just to show you what it looks like when you change things I will put in a star here that has rather ridiculous colors, just scale that down and remove the logo we originally made. And so now you can see that it works for just about anything that you put in there. So this has been Evan Abrams for Premium B.com, your source for royalty free sound effects and music. If you want to learn more go to After Effects or other applications; stop by the blog. There are plenty of other tutorials and tips and tricks from industry experts there. And as always, I’m Evan Abrams, thank you so much for watching, and I’ll see you next time.[/color-box] Create a 3D style mosaic animation in After Effects – perfect for making logos and titles more dynamic!In this After Effects tutorial, you’ll learn how to break apart text or a logo into a mosaic pattern and then quickly reassemble it for an impressive reveal. All of the AE tools used in this tutorial come default with the app, so there’s no need to purchase any fancy (read: expensive) third party plugins or filters.Although some AE experience is suggested before taking on this mosaic animation tutorial, it doesn’t require any advanced scripting or expressions. The fundamentals of the tutorial include:Applying the Fractal Noise plugin to text or logoUsing the Card Dance plugin to break the text or logo into a mosaic patternSimulating movement of the mosaic tiles with the AE virtual cameraApplying Force Motion Blur effect to the animation for a smoother effectAlthough the effect seems like a likely fit for text or a logo, it can actually be applied to any video or graphic element in your AE project. Best of all, the affected element sits in it’s own comp, so you can quickly swap it out for something else with the same animation applied.  For example, if a client decides they want to update their logo you won’t need to go through all of the steps of reanimating it, simply swap out the logo in the comp.This AE mosaic effect is quite simple and will add pizazz to a video editing or motion design project.Tutorial best viewed in full screen:last_img read more

HC refuses to quash DA case against Virbhadra Singh

first_imgThe Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife’s plea seeking the quashing of a disproportionate assets (DA) case filed by the CBI.Justice Vipin Sanghi also vacated the Himachal Pradesh High Court’s interim order of October 1, 2015, restraining the CBI from arresting, interrogating or filing a charge sheet in the case without the court’s permission.“The writ petition is dismissed. Stay is vacated,” the court said.Mr. Singh has sought directions from the court to quash the FIR registered against him and his wife under Sections 13(2) and 13(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 109 of IPC by the CBI on September 23, 2015 here and urged the court to summon records of the preliminary inquiry and the FIR.Mr. Singh and wife Pratibha Singh claimed in their plea that there was no order, direction or judgment by any court that authorised the CBI to inquire, investigate or register regular cases and exercise jurisdiction in the territory of Himachal Pradesh.The Chief Minister contended that the raids on his private residence and other premises were conducted with “mala fide intentions and political vendetta” by the central investigating agency.He alleged that the CBI overstepped its jurisdiction in filing the case as the cause of action did not arise in the territory of Delhi.Mr. Singh also claimed that the permission of the State government and Home Department were not taken before raiding the residence of a sitting chief minister.The CBI contended that the allegations against Mr. Singh in the case are “very serious” as a huge amount of money was involved and the State government has shown “over anxiety” in protecting him. It said it had jurisdiction to register and investigate the case in Delhi as the disproportionate assets were allegedly acquired by the Congress leader from the income generated here when he was a Union minister during the UPA regime.The matter was transferred by the Supreme Court to the Delhi High Court, which on April 6, 2016 asked the CBI not to arrest Mr. Singh and directed him to join the probe.On November 5 last, the apex court transferred Mr. Singh’s plea from the Himachal Pradesh High Court to the Delhi High Court, saying it was not expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, but “simply” transferring the petition “in interest of justice and to save the institution [judiciary] from any embarrassment“.last_img read more